Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been charged with sexual assault, after allegedly raping 13 women while on duty. Court officials said Wednesday that prosecutors have tallied 35 felony counts against the 27-year-old.
Holtzclaw, who is presently on paid leave, and under house arrest at his parents' home, could face life imprisonment. During a pretrial hearing this week, 13 women alleged that Holtzclaw threatened them with jail time, if they didn't have sex with him. Of the 35 charges, six counts are of first-degree rape.
Holtzclaw has denied any wrongdoing, from the house he is confined to in Enid, roughly 70 miles north of Oklahoma City.
One of the alleged victims said during her pretrial testimony, "he was an officer. And I was scared. And I knew he could hurt me." Another 17-year-old victim said that Holtzclaw raped her on her mother's front porch, after picked her up and threatening to jail her on outstanding warrants. DNA samples taken from Hortzclaw's uniform pants correlate with the teenager's testimony.
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Holtzclaw, who remains free on bond, is due back in court on January 21. The officer, who had been on the police force for roughly three years, is thought to have committed the assaults between February and June, before being arrested in August. He somehow was able to post a $609,000 bail.
Hortzclaw's specific charges include sexual battery, rape, forcible oral sodomy, burglary, stalking, indecent exposure and procuring lewd exhibition. Prosecutors have asserted that Hortzclaw once sexually abused a woman at a hospital and took her to jail, then went so far as to befriend her on Facebook and go to her house looking for sex.
Hortzclaw's sister Jenny said in a statement, “people do believe in Daniel's innocence and not into the media hype that everyone is believing into!!!!”